Florida Gators Football News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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3/11/15: There are a lot of great things that come with being a brand new head coach at big football program. It is still the honeymoon phase. No games have been lost yet. You are likely more popular than your predecessor. And you can talk a big game and all the boosters eat it up and open their wallets. New Gators head coach Jim McElwain is enjoying this time right now and declared that he wants to make the state of Georgia "Gator Country". While the faithful act like this is some new amazing revelation, UF (and all the SEC and ACC) have been recruiting in Georgia for years. Regardless, it makes the fan base happy for now.
2/25/15: The University of Florida avoided further NCAA sanctions stemming from the recruiting violations of a former assistant coach. The assistant coach, Joker Phillips, made illegal contact with a recruit a year ago when they shared a meal in a restaurant during time when such contact was not allowed. It was a Level II violation because it was considered "not inadvertent and provided more than a a minimal recruiting advantage.". Amazingly, it was the first major violation for the Gators since 1990 - which had been the longest stretch of compliance by an SEC team. That honor now goes to Vandy.
2/11/15: Love 'em or hate 'em, the Florida Gators did a fine job in closing on National Signing Day. Just a few weeks ago, they were ranked outside the top 100 by Rivals. A lot of that is understandable considering that they have a new head coach and the program has been down for the last few years. Additionally, former head coach Bill Muschamp (now the defensive coordinator at Auburn) was able to take a few recruits with him. But the Gators rallied and finished with the #23 class by Rivals rankings. That includes five star offensive lineman Martez Ivey and four star running back Jordan Scarlett.
2/4/15: With just a few days to go before National Signing Day, it did not look too good for the Florida Gators. On January 31, 2015, their recruiting class was just 11 deep and ranked 101st in the land. Additionally, the players committed were either two or three star recruits, as ranked by Rivals. There is some built in understanding here, though. The Gators are coming off of two disappointing seasons with a combined 12 wins. They also have a new head coach and coaching staff in place, so a lot of recruiting under Will Muschamp has been made worthless. Although a player to watch may be 6'4" tight end Daniel Imatorbheblhe, who could turn into a star.
1/28/15: It has been a long time coming, but the University of Florida is finally getting an indoor practice facility. It is kind of surprising that UF is the last of the 14 SEC schools to announce such an initiative, especially since they dwell in north central Florida - an area that gets torrential thunderstorms almost every afternoon in the summer and fall. Last year, 30 practices were suspended, relocated or cancelled due to the weather, and this will allow the Gators to keep getting ready for gameday in the comfort of a protected area. FSU opened their indoor facility a couple years ago, so this is pretty much keeping up with the Joneses.
1/21/15: The Florida Gators got a late start on recruiting this year, which is understandable considering they had a lame duck coach for most of the 2014 football season and had to hire a new head coach (Jim McElwain) and staff a month ago. As late as a two weeks ago, they only had eight committed recruits. But the Gators are on the prowl and look to close the recruiting period on a high note. They offered Jared Pinkney a scholarship recently to rebuild the tight end position, a position that has underperformed for the past couple of years. It will be an interesting two weeks, and a busy one, as Florida tries to salvage this recruiting class.
1/14/15: The Gators spent much of the 2014 season knowing that head coach Will Muschamp would not be returning for 2015, however, it was not until about a month ago that they had Muschamp's replacement. That uncertainty at the head coaching position certainly created a lot of doubt in the eyes of recruits, so it is no surprise that the team had only eight recruitment commitments as of mid-January. So the Gators are getting very aggressive in their offers, including going after several recruits that have given oral commitments to other schools. Florida likely will not end up with their best class, but should only be a one year lapse.
1/7/15: The University of Florida saved the state from a complete shutout in the bowl games this season by rallying to beat East Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl, 28-20. East Carolina showed some offensive resolve by totaling well over 500 yards of offense, including 427 yards passing by Shane Carden, but the Gators did a good job of keeping them out of the end zone. QB Jeff Driskel got some playing time, but was not effective. It is likely the last time he will be in a Gators uniform though. New head coach Jim McElwain confirmed that the university approved Driskel's request to be released from his scholarship. Florida finished the season at 7-5, which is a good improvement over the 4-8 record from a year ago.
12/3/14: It has been well-documented over the past few weeks how the annual Florida State rivalry game would be Will Muschamp's final game as head coach of the Gators. That game is over and he is now a free agent coach who will probably be highly sought after as a defensive coordinator. But unlike several years ago when the Gators rose up to give Ron Zook a nice send-off, the Seminoles spoiled Muschamp's last game by overcoming four interceptions to win 24-19. UF is bowl eligible and now must wait to find out which bowl they will be going to.
11/19/14: The Gators offered their fans a glimmer of hope by escaping Tennessee and beating rival Georgia. Then they reverted back to their prior form against Steve Spurrier and South Carolina. The Gators got down 10 early, took a 17-10 lead, then lost in overtime. Florida fell to 6-4 on the season and 4-4 in SEC play. The University announced the following day that head coach Will Muschamp will coach the final two games of the season, at home versus Eastern Kentucky on Saturday and at FSU the following week. Now starts the speculation on who will be the nest head coach.
11/12/14: There will be no chants with the mocking "It's great to be a four and eighter" this season as the Florida Gators won their fifth game of the season by destroying lowly Vanderbilt. The Gators continued to run the ball effectively, gaining 214 yards and four touchdowns as a team. They also let QB Treon Harris throw a little bit. He was 12w for 20 for 225 yards and no TDs or INTs. Crazy as it sounds, the Gators are still in the mix for the SEC East title. They would need Mizzou to lose a couple games though. UF is now 5-3 on the season and hosts South Carolina on Saturday.
11/5/14: The Florida Gators served up one of the biggest upsets of the year by shocking a shorthanded Georgia Bulldogs (ranked 11th) squad 38-20 in their annual matchup. The word on the street is that Will Muschamp's tenure as head coach will end soon, so he took some gambles and they paid off. But this game was won on the ground. Florida only managed 27 yards receiving on six attempts, but put up a whopping 418 yards and five touchdowns rushing. For those that want Muschamp gone, this may save his job. The Gators improved to 4-3 on the season, matching last year's total and are at Vandy on Saturday.
10/29/14: The University of Florida so far has been true to their word of not firing head coach Will Muschamp during the season. The calls for Muschamp's job are getting deafening, especially after the blowout loss to Missouri at home. There have been only two times that a team has limited an opponent to under 150 yards and lost in the past 10 years, and both of those are from the Gators under Muschamp's watch. While the fans may want him gone, he is still in charge. The Gators had a bye last weekend and are preparing for The World's Largest Outdoor Party - the annual game in Jacksonville against the rival Georgia Bulldogs.
10/22/14: The Florida Gators announced that both Treon Harris and Jeff Driskel would get time at QB against Missouri last Saturday. They both got their shot, but it did not matter who was under center, the Missouri defense and special teams overwhelmed the Gators - they hit the defense/special teams grand slam. Mizzou ran the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown. They also got a punt return for a touchdown, as well and an interception return for a touchdown and a fumble return for a touchdown. Florida fell to 3-3 overall and 2-3 in the SEC. Time to take a week off and get ready for the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville - the annual game against Georgia on November 1st.
10/15/14: Most can agree that the Gators of the past few years bear little resemblance to those under former head coach Urban Meyer. But the Gators were hosting LSU last weekend, and that tends to get the juices flowing. Jeff Driskel got the start at QB as Treon Harris had legal troubles during the week (the complaint was later dropped and Harris was reinstated to the team, but had not practiced all week). Driskel may be finished for good as the Gators QB, as he threw an interception with less than a minute left, which set up the game winning field goal for LSU. UF is now 3-2 overall and 2-2 in conference play. They host an inconsistent Missouri team on Saturday.
10/8/14: The Gators' rivalry with the Tennessee Volunteers has certainly lost its shine over the past decade or so, but that does not mean that these two teams still do not gear up for each other. And, once again, the Vols did not spend that Saturday night signing Rocky Top and celebrating a victory. The Gators were actually down 9-0 heading into the fourth quarter before scoring 10 points to seal the win. There are still big questions at the QB position. Jeff Driskel was 11-23 for only 59 yards, zero TDs and three interceptions. He may not be starting this Saturday when the Gators host LSU.
10/1/14: There is very little certainty surrounding the security of Florida Gators' head coach Will Muschamp. Coach Boom is certainly on the hot seat and the temperature is getting hotter. Many fans (and more importantly, big boosters) want Muschamp gone. Since the Gators did not have a game last weekend and were blown out by Alabama, the coaching position is the hot topic among the Gators faithful. Athletic Director, Jeremy Foley, is not as supportive of Muschamp as he was a year ago, but insists that he will wait until the end of the season to evaluate the position. Muschamp and the Gators can ease the tension this Saturday if they can get a win when travel to Tennessee.
9/24/14: The Florida Gators tried to turn back the clock to the Tim Tebow days when they visited Tuscaloosa last Saturday. Despite ignoring the offensive side of the ball, UF was tied with the Crimson Tide at 21 points apiece in the third quarter. But Alabama righted their ship and pulled away to win 42-21. The Gator defense started off well and recovered four turnovers. However, they yielded 645 yards of total offense, including 449 in the air. The offense was largely ineffective throughout the day. UF is off this week before heading to Tennessee on October 4.
9/17/14: The Gators may have gotten away with one last Saturday when they were able to hold off a feisty Kentucky squad at the Swamp in triple overtime. UF was awarded a touchdown in the first overtime even though they did not get the play off before the play clock wound down to zero. The officials did not notice it, and two overtimes later, the Gators had their victory. UF has not lost to Kentucky since 1986, the longest streak in college football, and have not lost to the Wildcats at home since 1979. It gets tougher this week as the Gators head up to Alabama to challenge the Crimson Tide.
8/28/14: Unlike a lot of teams, the Florida Gators have pretty much a 'gimme' game to start the 2014 season. While South Carolina is hosting Texas A&M and even Florida State goes to Arlington, Texas for a neutral site game against Oklahoma State, the Gators are hosting the Idaho Vandals. But there is logic to it. The game was scheduled years ago and does give the Gators a chance to see their players in live action. Besides, with the SEC as strong as it is, there is nothing wrong with getting a practice game in against inferior competition.
8/21/14: The Gators are looking to bounce back from an embarrassing 4-8 season. The team should be better simply because they are relatively healthy and no team could survive the amount of injuries they suffered last season. Granted it is only August, but injuries have already started. The team lost four star recruit (and freshman) Thomas Holley for the season. Holley may have redshirted anyway, but he at least would have been depth at the defensive tackle position. Holley has a torn labrum which will require surgery, and the recovery time is estimated at a convenient four months.
8/14/14: The Gators are trying to rebound from a horrendous 4-8 season where many of their key players suffered season ending injuries. Gator Nation feared they were in for a repeat last week when talented cornerback Vernon Hargreaves was carted off the practice field. Depending on the source, Hargreaves either injured his knee during a team fight in practice or injured it with a collision during a play. Fortunately for UF, the injury was not too severe and an MRI showed that he had suffered a bone bruise. Hargreaves led the Gators in interceptions last season with three.
8/7/14: This is really an odd situation. Not just for college athletics, but for all sports. The Gators won not one, but two national championships under Urban Meyer - and that was in a very short span. Yet, the fans really do not like the guy. Perhaps it is how he left for health reasons or perhaps it is how he took the Ohio State job a year later (and seems to be in good health). Whatever the reason, the fact remains that the Gators are rebuilding and head coach Will Muschamp is on the hot seat after a 4-=8 season.
7/31/14: It has been a tough 12 months for the Florida Gators, and that does not even include their terrible 4-8 record last season (or the loss, at home, to Georgia Southern). UF has lost several players to transfer and that trend continued last week when tight end Colin Thompson left the program, reportedly going to Temple. It was reported a month earlier that Thompson was considering transferring, likely to get more playing time. This appears to be more of a loss of depth rather than the loss of key contributor, but still could sting the team later on in the season.
7/24/14: Give Gators' head coach Will Muschamp points for honesty. He was asked about his employment situation with the University of Florida during SEC Media Days and he did not shy away from the question. Muschamp understands that 4-8 seasons in Gainesville are not acceptable. Particularly those with a home loss to Georgia Southern. But the Gators were abnormally affected by injuries last season. They return a healthy lineup this fall and should be much better than the team that was last seen getting blown out by rival Florida State last November. But kudos to Muschamp for acknowledging the situation.
7/17/14: While the Gators had their worst season in a generation in 2013, there were a few bright spots. For example, defensive back Vernon Hargreaves was a semi-finalist for the prestigious Jim Thorpe award for the nation's top DB. He is also among those on the watch list for this season's award. All three of last year's finalists: winner Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State), Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State) and Lamarcus Joyner (Florida State) were all selected in the NFL draft. Hargreaves has the opportunity to follow in their footsteps should he have another standout season - which simply has to be better from a team perspective than the last one.
7/10/14: The Florida Gators may want to expunge the 2013 season in the history books. That, of course, cannot be done. The season slipped away early when QB Jeff Driskel went down for the season. He is back and healthy again, but does have to learn a new offensive scheme from new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper. But Driskel may evoke memories of some past Gators' QBs this season as the team is expected to run the ball a lot more - and that includes using Driskel. He is a natural athlete so it would not be surprising or out of the realm of possibilities for him to run for 500 yards or more next season.
7/3/14: This has been a tough offseason for head coach Will Muschamp and his Florida Gators football program. They had the sudden resignation of their recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach for a potential recruiting violation as well as a few transfers. Now, it seems there is another transfer. Tight end Colin Thompson has appeared in just three games in two years, mainly due to injuries and may want to move back closer to his family home in Pennsylvania. He may end up at Penn State, who offered him a scholarship previously, though he would have to sit out a year to do that.
6/26/14: Coaches and fans always claiming the greatest ever for their own accomplishments, even if there is no real way to prove themselves right or wrong (which may be part of the appeal). Former Gators coach Urban Meyers dabbled in a bit of that last week when he claimed that his 2008 team was the best team in college football history. The Gators won the national championship that year and were led by Heisman Trophy winning QB and cult hero Tim Tebow. That was a fine team and may have been the best of Meyer's career. That being said, former head coach Steve Spurrier had some fine teams in his time, not to mention all the great FSU teams over the years, including 1993, 1999 and last year's national champion. Of course, there is no way to settle the score, and it is a point of pride for the Gators.
6/19/14: The University of Florida football program abruptly announced the resignation of recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach Joker Phillips last week. The details are still sketchy, but the school said he was leaving for 'personal reasons'. Later reports indicated that another school witnessed Phillips having inappropriate contact with a potential recruit, though that was considered to be a very minor violation. In any case, Phillips is no longer with the program and UF may have some explaining to do for his dismissal. This may be a case where NCAA rules are a bit to stringent for real life.
6/12/14: It has not been much of a rivalry in recent years, but the Florida and Alabama game still draws a lot of interest. Sad to say that Alabama has taken control of this series since 1) Tim Tebow graduated and left college football, and 2) Nick Saban has joined the ranks of the legends in college football. That being said, there is still a demand for these two rivals. Tickets for the UF/Alabama game are among the most expensive in the country (the game is in Tuscaloosa). The average price per ticket is $343 and the least expensive seat still costs $210. Florida may be rebuilding, but everyone wants to see them.
6/6/14: If there is ever a topic that has even the most miniscule bit of controversy attached to it, then someone from the SEC will speak about it. In this weeks episode, UF president, Bernie Machen, argues against athletes that have NCAA eligibility remaining and graduate from one school, then transfer to another without having to sit out a year. Florida is welcoming two players like this right now: Jake McGee and Jon Horford. Perhaps Machen is not happy that former FSU backup QB Jacob Coker has transferred to Alabama, where he will get a chance to compete for the starting QB position.
5/29/14: Word broke last week that an old rivalry that has only been played sporadically in recent years may be coming back. Reportedly, UF and Miami are both open to renewing their rivalry game sometime in the future, though it would likely have to be at a neutral site. With the SEC requiring a non-conference game against a Big 5 conference team, this makes sense. It could also be good news for Orlando or Tampa to host the game. And by having it in a neutral site, it would ensure that the fans show up, which is not guaranteed in Miami.
5/22/14: The Gators' offense in 2013 was something of a running joke in the state of Florida. Many college football fans reveled in their ineptitude (those would be the Florida State and Miami fans who had to hear it from the Gator fans for several years). Florida did finish in the top 100 in offense last year, ranking 99th. Of course there are only like 120 teams, so that is no real accomplishment. They should be healthier this season and it looks like they are getting some help at tight end with Virginia graduate transfer Jake McGee.
5/15/14: Despite an absolutely terrible season, one in which the Gators finished at 4-8 and missed a bowl game for the first time since 1990, UF did have a first round pick in the NFL draft. With the 29th overall pick in the draft, none other than the New England Patriots selected defensive tackle Dominique Easley. Easley is a very talented player, but likely slid in the draft because of knee injuries. The Pats are not worried about that and seem to have a way of either getting the best out of a player or getting rid of him before he hurts the team.
5/8/14: Gators and Seminoles fans love to lob shots at each other. Right now, the Gators are making plenty of crab legs jokes for FSU Heisman Trophy winning QB Jameis Winston stealing seafood from a local grocery store. The Noles, of course can look to winning three of the last four meetings, as well as the National Championship. A former Gator is back in the news as Shariff Floyd has taken the lead against the NCAA in a class-action suit focusing on grant-in-aid to student athletes. The suit deals primarily with providing student-athletes with benefits for the work they put in for the university.
5/1/18: It has been roughly 18 months since the Gators were selected to be in the Sugar Bowl (of January 2013). The team was soundly thrashed in that game by Teddy Bridgewater and the Louisville Cardinals. They have only won four games since then, while losing eight. Despite all of this, head coach Will Muschamp continues to plead his case that the team is not out of control and ready to make a comeback. Time will tell if that is true or not. What is true is that if the Gators have another 4-8 season, and lose again to Florida State, that Muschamp is likely gone.
4/24/14: It would be easy to forget about Damon Easly. He has barely played for the past two years due to terrible injuries. At one time, he was the future of the Gators' defensive front four, but that was a while ago. The pros are looking at him, though. He worked out, and worked out well, at the Gators' facility for professional scouts. There may be some lingering questions about his knees and legs, but chances are that someone will be willing to take a chance on him. Considering that he is still in his early 20's, he has time to return to form and take a major role on someone's team - and likely at a bargain price.
4/17/14: Fear not, Gators fans, it simply has to be better than last season. UF was decimated by injuries in 2013, leading to a humbling 4-8 season (and taunts of "It's great .. to be .. a four n' eighter" by rival fans. The biggest news is that QB Jeff Driskel is healthy again and that he has separated himself from the other competing quarterbacks. He was calm in Florida's spring game last Saturday, where he finished 18of 32 for 167 yards. The highlight was a 31 yard touchdown to Demarcus Robinson. Driskel took every snap from the shotgun, which may be the plan under the team's new offensive scheme.
4/10/14: While the University of Florida is turning itself into a basketball school, which is understandable considering the Gators football program has been underwhelming for most of the past few seasons, there looks to be hope on the horizon. No one expects the Gators to go 4-8 again next season. If the offense can even be average, then they will get back to a bowl game. But defense has always been a strength in Gainesville, and spring practices this season are showcasing strong play from the linebackers. That will be important come fall when the team goes through another grueling SEC schedule as well as defending National Champion Florida State.
4/3/14: While the Florida State football team is hoping that star quarterback Jameis Winston does not get hurt playing baseball, the Gators are trying to improve from last season's 4-8 debacle. Head coach Will Muschamp noted that Jeff Driskel has separated himself from the pack of other quarterbacks this spring, and takes the lead as the starting QB for the 2014 season. Driskel started last year as the starter, but was injured and lost for the year. There was speculation that a new offensive scheme may displace him, but Driskel is holding on to the spot for now.
3/27/14: Florida wide receiver Andre Dubose was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA a few weeks ago, then promptly found himself in trouble with the law from an incident that started with an altercation and ended up in gunfire. The good news for Dubose and the Gator football team is that any implication of Dubose's participation as an aggressor have now been nullified. The Gainesville police offered an apology to him and even hailed him as a hero who was trying to break up the altercation. While coach Will Muschamp must be relieved, he did take the opportunity to remind his players to be careful in the future.
3/20/14: The Gators were able to retain some depth at wide receiver, to an extent. Andre Debose was granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA last week. Debose tore his ACL last summer camp and did not play at all in the 2013 season. He also missed his true freshman season in 2009 due to an injury he suffered running high school track. Debose was one of the more highly sought after recruits in high school, but injuries and bad offenses and limited his effectiveness on the field, and there is a very good chance that this is his last season of football ever.
3/13/14: The University of Florida has a history of great (college) quarterbacks. The names on the list are familiar to college football fans: Tim Tebow, Chris Leak, Danny Wuerfle. Even the 'Old Ball Coach' Steve Spurrier played for the Gators in the 1960's and won the Heisman Trophy. The Gators have Jeff Driskel slated as the starting QB again, but they need to give him some help to become the elite QB he was drafted to be. That starts with getting the offensive line in shape. Every QB is better with a strong O-line. He could also use some help at the skill positions. They certainly have talent on the roster, now it is just getting them ready to play.
3/6/14: Gator Nation may have lost four of the past five games against the Florida State Seminoles, but they do own the all time lead in the series at 34-22-2. The rivalry will continue between Tallahassee and Gainesville, as the two schools agreed upon an extension through 2018. Traditionally, they alternate home games, and that will continue. FSU will host in 2014, 2016, and 2018, while the Gators are at home in 2015 and 2017. This is pretty much a formality at this point, but the Noles want to keep the Gators on the schedule, and it is good for the state as a whole when they meet around Thanksgiving every year.
2/27/14: The Gators have a lot of rebuilding to do and a lot of trust to regain from their fans and boosters. They will have a new look in the secondary next season, partly due to players leaving for the pros. Another, Cody Riggs, transferred from UF to Notre Dame. He is a grad school transfer so he can join the Irish right away and play in 2014. Riggs played 40 games for the Gators, primarily at cornerback. He projects to be a safety in the NFL, so he may have transferred so he could get more experience at that position while in college rather than have to learn the spot in the pros.
2/20/14: UF football is still incredibly popular, particularly in the state of Florida. Even though they fell to 4-8 last season and have been lapped by rival and National Champion Florida State, and even though they are getting taunts set to the diction of 'Its great to be a Florida Gator" with "Its great to be a four and eight-er", they are still the most popular program in the Sunshine State. But they have seen attendance fall, particularly among students. A lot of it is students wanting to watch multiple games or be in the comfort of their own homes. But they are not alone. This is a trend nationwide. Of course, winning fixes everything.
2/13/14: UF had a pretty good recruiting class this year. That should not be very surprising, despite the fact that they ended up at 4-8 last season. They lost a few recruits to Florida State, but did manage to flip one of theirs. They did end up with a top 10 class. The other news coming out this week was the financial terms of UF's game with Michigan at Texas Stadium in 2016. The school will pick up $6 million for the game and does not have to buy unsold seats. It will also be the first time that the Gators have had a non-conference game at home since 1991 (though they will be the home team).
2/6/14: Despite Florida resident's individual preference - whether that be UF, FSU, Miami, UCF, or other - it is good for both college football and football within the state of Florida when at least two of the Big Three are strong. That has not been the case for a few years, but UF may be jump starting their rebuilding to compete with FSU sooner rather than later. Gator recruit Will Grier, a QB already enrolled in the school, was named Parade Magazine Player of the Year. Grier will compete with incumbent Jeff Driskel for the starting position, but may end up being redshirted for a year. In any case, it is good news for the Gators to get a quality QB recruit in the door.
1/30/14: The Florida Gators football program is not dead. It may have seemed that was last season when the Gators missed the bowl season for the first time since the early 90's. Not to mention that they fired their offensive coordinator, have lost several players to transfer, have lost their best two cornerbacks to the NFL, and at least two prized recruits have decommitted from their pledges. That being said, The Gators have commitments from four players in the top 100 recruits. The fact that they are Florida and play in the SEC (and just as importantly, the weak SEC East) can still pay dividends.
1/23/14: It has been a bit of a strange trip for head coach Will Muschamp. He is relatively young and at one time was considered one of the top minds of all college coordinators. The University of Texas thought so highly of him that they named him the coach-in-waiting to succeed Mack Brown. However, he took the UF job three years ago and has had a bad season, a great season, and a miserable season. Enough that Gator fans want him out. It is very interesting because had he stayed at Texas, then he would be the head coach and so many other coaching changes would not have happened.
1/16/14: Finally, some good news for UF. It has been a tough few weeks as five players left the program, offensive coordinator Brent Pease was fired, and the Gators not only missed out on playing in a bowl game, but also had to watch in-state rival Florida State hoist the crystal football as the National Champions. So this is nice for the Gainesville crowd. Cornerback Jalen Tabor, the number 15 recruit overall, has flipped his commitment from Arizona to Florida. Tabor may have a chance to play right away, as the top two CBs on the Gators declared early for the NFL draft.
1/9/13: The tough offseason keeps getting tougher for Gator fans and the team as a whole. Word came out this week that the second highest rated running back in the country, Dalvin Cook, decommitted from Florida and will enroll at rival Florida State in the spring. The Gators are depending on young players and a strong recruiting class this spring to rebuild the program. Five players have left the program via transfer since the end of the season. Additionally, the Gators two top cornerbacks are declaring early for the NFL. However, this is the Gators, and they will be back.
1/2/14: For decades the Gators' offense was a threatening sight and seemed to able to score at will. That has not been the case for the last two years as the Gators have posted some of the lowest offensive stats in all of college football. That may change soon enough, though. Florida hired Kurt Roper as offensive coordinator last week. Roper was the architect of the Duke attack, which has been surprisingly effective for the past few years. Roper replaces Brent Pease, who was let go after two seasons. On a positive not, Roper coached Peyton Manning when he was at Ole Miss.
12/26/13: Gators head coach Will Muschamp announced that Coleman Hutzler will return to Florida's coaching staff as the special teams coordinator and director of player personnel. Hutzler had previously been on the staff in 2010-11 assisting the defense. He spent the last two years in New Mexico coaching special teams and outside linebackers. Hutzler worked with current Gators defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin in his previous stint in Gainesville, and Gators fans have to hope that they can keep the defense playing at a high level (and more so that the offense can turn it around next season).
12/19/13: The Gators are still trying to recover from an injury plagued and disappointing season where they won just four games and missed a bowl game for the first time since 1990. It will get a little bit tougher, as five players announced they would be leaving the Gators football program. The five players were mostly subs and redshirts who may be looking for chances to actually play. The good news is that it does free up some scholarships. That may help head coach Will Muschamp bring in some fresh talent to compete in the SEC and with rival Florida State.
12/12/13: University of Florida finished their season two weeks ago with a blowout loss to the rival Florida State Seminoles (who are going to the National Championship Game). The Gators fired offensive coordinator Brent Pease immediately following the end of the season, a move that was widely expected considering the Gators struggles on offense for the past two years under Pease's leadership. Interestingly, Pease was hired away from Boise State, who are now looking for head coach since Chris Peterson left the program to take over at the University of Washington. No word yet on the Gators next offensive coordinator.
12/5/13: UF's season is officially over after getting drummed 37-7 by FSU last Saturday. The Gators finished the season with only four wins on the season and suffered their most embarrassing defeat ever by losing to Georgia Southern at home two weeks ago. The good news is that the Gators will avoid GA Southern next season. The battle of Florida was not a battle at all. UF kept it interesting for about 20 minutes with excellent defense, but simply could not hold of the power FSU offense forever. With two quick TDs at the end of the first half, the Noles essentially put the game away.
11/28/13: If the Gators alums and boosters were mad that they lost at home to Vanderbilt for the first time since 1946, one can only imagine how they feel about losing, at home (no less) to Georgia Southern last Saturday. There are a lot of excuses to be thrown out, such as all the injuries the Gators have sustained. However, Gator fans have never been accused of being patient, and this could easily be the end for head coach Will Muschamp. UF will not make a bowl for the first time since 1990 and only have one game left this season - the rivalry game against Florida State (who is ranked #2 in the country and in line to play for the national championship game).
11/21/13: The University of Florida football team is on the verge of missing a bowl game for the first time since 1990. The Gators are 4-6 after losing to South Carolina 19-14 last Saturday, and have to beat both Georgia Southern and Florida State to be bowl eligible. To be fair, UF has been decimated by injuries and had to start third string freshman QB Skylar Morningwheg against the Gamecocks. The Gators took a 14-6 lead into halftime but could not muster anything more. Gator fans are getting increasingly frustrated with head coach Will Muschamp, but he is likely safe for another year.
11/14/13: There are a lot of unhappy Gator fans around Gainesville these days and that may mean that head coach Will Muschamp's job is on the line. The Gators are in the midst of a terrible season. They lack the talent of past years and have been decimated by injuries. However, the Gator faithful does not tolerate losing to Vandy, particularly at home. The Commodores beat the Gators for the first time in their last 22 attempts past Saturday and for the first time in Gainesville since 1945. Florida is stuck on four wins and has to beat either South Carolina or Florida State (and Georgia Southern) to be bowl eligible.
11/7/13: The Florida - Georgia game was one of the premier games on the NCAA schedule for years. It even earned the nickname "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" for the revelry that took place in Jacksonville, Florida before, during, and following the game. Neither team was ranked in the top 25 so this one lacked the luster of past years. Georgia stormed to a 20-0 lead, but Florida rallied. However, it was not enough, as the Gators lost 23-20. UF is now 4-4 overall and 3-3 in the SEC. The Gators host Vanderbilt the Saturday and will try to salvage their season.
10/31/13: The Florida Gators had a bye week, which gave them some time to recoup after losing at Mizzou and falling out of the top 25 for the first time this season. The next game is a big one as UF heads to Jacksonville for the traditional neutral site game against the rival Georgia Bulldogs, who are also unranked. Florida's biggest problem has been on offense this season. The defense is still very good, but the offense just cannot seem to move the ball and score points against good defenses. This year's game against the Bulldogs may not have the hype as past seasons, but will always be a fierce rivalry and an experience to visit for college football fans.
10/24/13: The Florida Gators have a great history and tradition, but it looks as though they have simply been living off of that for this season. UF does have a very solid defense, in fact they were ranked number one in the SEC going into their first road game at Mizzou. However, Missouri racked up 500 yards of offense in the 36-17 win in Columbia. The Gators loss dropped them out of the top 25 and likely puts them out of contention in the SEC East with two conference losses. The Gators are now 4-3 on the season and 3-2 in conference play. UF has a bye week before heading to Jacksonville to play the annual Cocktail Game against Georgia on November 2.
10/17/13: The difficult 2013 season continues for the Florida Gators. The team lost to Miami in the second week of the season, then lost their starting quarterback for the year, then lost their best defensive player. Last Saturday, the Gators went to Baton Rouge to face the LSU Tigers and try to get some revenge from the blowout there two years ago. But backup QB Tyler Murphy and the offense simply could not get anything going and lost 17-6. The loss will surely knock them down in the polls and makes their quest for the SEC East title a bit tougher. The only consolation is that the Georgia Bulldogs also lost, leaving Mizzou in the top spot for now.
10/10/13: The Gators continue to roll through their SEC schedule; this past week the defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks 30-20 at home. The Razorbacks fell to 0-2 in the SEC in the loss, and is worlds away from where they were just a couple of years ago. UF QB Tyler Murphy threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Gators wide receiver Solomon Patton had a big game with six receptions, 124 yards, and two touchdowns. The schedule for UF gets more difficult this week. The Gators travel to Baton Rouge to face the LSU Tigers this Saturday.
10/3/13: It has been 27 years now since the Kentucky Wildcats beat the Florida Gators - the longest consecutive streak in all of college football. That means that no players on either team were alive the last time Kentucky won this rivalry. Florida coasted to a 24-7 win in Lexington behind new starting quarterback Tyler Murphy. Murphy only had 156 yards passing and a touchdown, but it was all they needed. Florida improved to 3-1 on the season with the win. Murphy replaced Jeff Driskel who is out of the season with injury. UF goes back to Gainesville to host Arkansas this Saturday.
9/26/13: The Gators started their SEC schedule with another matchup against the Tennessee Volunteers. This was a great rivalry once, but that was 15-20 years ago, as Tennessee is a mediocre program at this point. UF won the game 31-17, though the Vols were able to cover the 16.5 point spread. The major news out of the game was UF QB Jeff Driskel breaking his leg in the first quarter. Driskel now requires surgery and is out for the season. The Gators will go with Tyler Murphy at QB, who is getting his first college playing time. UF heads to Kentucky this week.
9/19/13: The University of Florida football team had a bye week, which gives them some time to lick their wounds after throwing away a game against the Miami Hurricanes in Miami last week. QB Jeff Driskel has been getting a lot of grief from fans after the loss. Driskel got a bit banged up and the time off will help him heal and get the team back on the same page. The Gators sit at 1-1 and will begin conference play this weekend against the Tennessee Volunteers at home. UF needs to do a better job of holding on to the ball if they want to be competitive in the SEC this season.
9/12/13: The excitement around the UF football program has quickly subsided. The Gators visited Miami and were upset by the Hurricanes. UF out gained the Canes almost two to one and dominated the time of possession. Those advantages were wiped out by a myriad of turnovers, particularly in the red zone. The loss dropped the Gators to an 18th ranking and a long climb back up the rankings. The team starts their SEC schedule this week when they return home to host Tennessee. The Volunteers are 2-0 after paying for and destroying Austin Peay and Western Kentucky.
9/4/13: To no one's surprise, the Florida Gators rolled over Toledo in the opening game of the 2013 season. That brings UF's winning streak of season openers to 24 games. The Gators simply toyed with the Rockets, easily winning 24-6. That being said, the Gators typically schedule lower tier teams for the first week or two. There were plenty of open seats at the season opener, a trend that troubles university administrators. Next week will get more competitive, as the Gators travel to Coral Gables to face the rebuilding Miami Hurricanes. Miami has a strong offense, but still has question marks on defense.
8/29/13: The Gators will open their season this weekend by hosting Toledo. Toledo is obviously not in the same realm as any SEC team, but they could be the winner of the MAC. It is also a departure from the long standing tradition of scheduling tier two teams for the first two weeks. While Florida should have no trouble beating Toledo, they may have more challenges the following week when they head to Miami to play the Hurricanes. Miami is a rebuilding program, and would like nothing more than to beat the Gators and establish themselves again as a respectable program.
8/22/13: UF is going to have a big challenge this year. They were much better than advertised last season, having played their way into a Sugar Bowl birth (where they were embarrassed by Teddy Bridgewater and the Louisville Cardinals). This season, they start out ranked 10th. That is remarkably high in a division with South Carolina and Georgia. The Gators hope to improve on last year's unexpected season, but it will be more difficult this time, as everyone will be waiting for them and ready to give them their best game - and that includes Florida State.
8/15/13: It has been another tough week for Gator football, but at least this one did not include any arrests, or possible homicides or racial rants by former players. This time it actually happened on the field. Wide receiver Andre Debose tore his ACL and will be out for the entire season. Debose was one of the highest ranked players at his position when he came out of high school. He has never lived up to his potential, but was expected to be a major contributor this season. His absence will mean that someone else must step up and give QB Jeff Driskel a target to throw to.
8/8/13: It has been a tough summer in Gainesville. It appears that former coach Urban Meyer (or his staff at Ohio State) tipped off the NCAA on possible minor violations; one former player is facing murder charges, and another made a hateful racial remark at a concert - the video of which has him on personal leave from his pro team. To make matters worse, recruiting has been average, but not great. The Gators still have talent on the roster, but they will need a big year to make everyone forget about all the problems this summer.
8/1/13: The Gators reached into the belly of the beast to grab a recruit - albeit for the 2016 recruiting class. Tre Jackson, the son of former Gators' star Jack Jackson, committed to UF. It is significant to get a legacy signing - even if it is two and a half years away. What is more intriguing is that Jackson attends Laboratory University High School, which is a high school founded by LSU and sits on the LSU campus. Perhaps it was not a good idea to commit to one of LSU's biggest rivals when there are still three more more seasons to play in Baton Rouge.
7/18/13: Gators head coach Will Muschamp finally showed some personality (aside from screaming profanities and spitting on the sideline). When asked about Ohio State tipping off the NCAA about a possible rules violation, Muschamp thanked the Buckeyes for their assistance, and added that the school certainly knows about NCAA rules - a clear shot at the tattoo scandal a few years ago that led to their probation and Jim Tressell's dismissal. While Ohio State is not an SEC team, their coach, Urban Meyer, previously coached Florida, and there are still a lot of Gator fans mad at him for leaving.
1/24/13: The UF football program may be taking a big hit this offseason, as several underclassmen have declared for the NFL draft and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is leaving the program to take the same position with the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks position came open when defensive coordinator Gus Bradley accepted the head coaching position with the Jacksonville Jaguars. So basically it was a trade. The Gators defense was much better than expected, and led the team to the Sugar Bowl, where they were exposed by the Louisville Cardinals - ironically led by former UF DC Charlie Strong.
1/10/13: There were more than a few respected 'experts' who picked the FSU Seminoles to fall to the Northern Illinois Huskies in the Orange Bowl. That did not happen. But virtually no one expected the No. 22 Louisville Cardinals from the Big East to upset No. 4 Florida. That did just happen. UF seemed lethargic and uninterested in the game, and quickly fell behind. The Gators tried to throw in some trick plays, but the Louisville defense was strong enough to hold on to the lead. Gators coach Will Muschamp said after the game that the team was outplayed and out-coached.
12/27/12: Like rival FSU, the Gators have several talented juniors who may declare for the NFL draft early. Sharrif Floyd, among the top defensive tackles in college football, could be a first round draft pick, while safety Matt Elam is a first team All American and will certainly get the interest of a few pro teams. Meanwhile, the rest of the team is preparing to face the Louisville Cardinals in the Sugar Bowl on January 2, 2013. The Gators are heavy favorites, and no one want a repeat of the Florida-Cincinnati thrashing from a few years ago.
12/20/12: Florida may be making preparations to play Louisville in the Sugar Bowl on January 2nd, but that is not stopping Will Muschamp and company from building for the future. The Gators signed three junior college transfers, who will presumably be with the team next season. Offensive linemen Tyler Moore (a former starter at Nebraska) and Trenton Brown signed, as did defensive lineman Darious Cummings. The three are expected to enroll in classes in January and be available for service in the 2013 season. Getting big men in the trenches is vital in the SEC, and it looks like the Gators have found a few monsters.
12/13/12: The Florida Gators have stopped complaining about not having a shot at the BCS Championship and are directing their efforts at preparing for the Sugar Bowl. The number three ranked Gators will play the twenty-first ranked Louisville Cardinals on January 2 at the Superdome in New Orleans.The Gators are coming off of an unexpected 11-1 season with the only loss coming at the hands of the Georgia Bulldogs. UF is heavily favored in the match up, and many fear this could be the same type of Sugar Bowl as a few years ago when Florida routed Big East Champion Cincinnati.
12/6/12: Due to the inexplicable unfairness of the BCS standings, the Florida Gators are headed back to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The Gators finished second in the SEC East, behind Georgia. Georgia took Alabama to the final play in the SEC Championship Game, before falling 32-28. But Georgia's second loss counts in the computer rankings (even though Georgia beat Florida earlier in the year), so the Bulldogs got shut out of a BCS game and instead will go to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando. Florida will face Louisville on January 2 in the Sugar Bowl.
11/29/12: For all the good tidings beating archrival Florida State brings, UF fans are cringing that they will be left out of the National Championship. The Gators have one loss and have played one of the toughest schedules in the country. But that one loss was to Georgia, who sits one spot ahead of UF in the BCS rankings. Georgia and Alabama will play in the SEC Championship Game this Saturday, and the winner will likely face Notre Dame for the BCS Championship. If NCAA football had a playoff, then UF would likely qualify, but as it is, they may be forced into the Sugar or Capital One Bowls.
11/22/12: The computers love the Gators, primarily because of their strength of schedule and wins over South Carolina, Texas A&M, and LSU. UF has had two cupcake games in the past two weeks, and barely beat University of Louisiana-Lafayette at home. But now comes the big final exam, as the No. 4 Gators head to Tallahassee to face arch-rival No. 10 Florida State. A win could give them an outside shot at making the BCS Championship Game. A loss shows they are overrated, and probably earns a ticket to the Capital One Bowl. UF will have to figure out some offense if they are going to be in this game.
11/15/12: Maybe SEC teams are smarter than the rest of the NCAA. UF rival FSU was decimated in the press for starting the year against two 1-AA teams (even though one game was a last minute scheduling adjustment after West Virginia pulled out). But UF just hosted University of Louisiana-Lafayette and now hosts Jacksonville State. The Gators also hosted Bowling Green in their opener. Perhaps since it is mid/late season, no one cares, but the effect is still the same. In any case, this is merely a warm-up game before UF travels to Tallahassee to face FSU in the final regular season game of the year.
The Florida Gators play Division I college football for the University of Florida. The Gators play in the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference. The 2011 season will be Will Muschamp's first as head coach of the Gators. Florida plays its home games at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL.
Florida Gators Football Tickets - History
The Florida Gators football program began in 1906.After a humble beginning; the Gators have built a tradition of winning football in Gainesville. They have won three national titles in 1996, 2006 and 2008. Florida has also captured eight SEC titles; the most recent was in 2008.As of 2011, 42 Florida Gators have been selected in the first round of the National Football League draft, including Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow. The Gators won two of their national titles under head coach Urban Meyer and the other under Steve Spurrier.
Florida Gators Football Tickets - Ben Hill Griffin StadiumThe Gators play their home games at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, also known as 'The Swamp', in Gainesville on Stadium Road. The 88,000-seat arena first opened in 1930. The stadium has been expanded six times; most recently in 2003. The Gators and their fans have made Ben Griffin Hill a tough venue for visiting teams. Since 2005, the Gators are 37-5 at home.
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Florida - Alabama Leads Week Four Demand
Alabama opens its SEC schedule against Florida this weekend in Tuscaloosa, and both teams have showed enough offensive spark in the preceding games to breathe some extra life into demand for this matchup of two cornerstone institutions in the conference. Alabama has dominated the SEC West for much of the last decade, but they showed…Read more